AGFC presents fishing regulations proposals

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is considering a slate of new fishing regulations for 2025. Most are of a local nature, but a few have statewide implications.

Create a Bass Management Assistance Program that allows private landowners to harvest more than statewide daily limits from water bodies that do not have public access and are fully surrounded by private land.

Designate Houseman Access on the White River as the downstream boundary of the Beaver tailwater below Beaver Dam in Carroll County. This will also be the downstream boundary of the designated trout water on the Beaver tailwater.

Except for Craighead Forest Park Youth Fishing Pond, transfer all other waterbodies from the "Family Fishing Program Waters" to the "Community Fishing Program Waters. This change will also impose community Fishing Program regulations to the waters at Bishop Park in Saline County. This change is intended to increase fishing opportunities to waters currently in the Family Fishing Program.

Specify that anglers may only fish 25 limb lines at a time. The current regulation limits the number of yo-yos and other mechanical fishing devices that anglers may use, but it does not limit the number of limblines.

Require anglers to check all passive fishing devices (yo-yos, noodles, limb lines) and remove catch every 24 hours. The current regulation requires anglers to check passive fishing devices every 48 hours. The change is intended to reduce mortality of non-target fish species.

Limit passive fishing devices to no more than two hooks. There is a two-hook limit on limblines, but not on yo-yos, noodles and other devices.

Allow anglers to use their Arkansas Game and Fish Commission customer identification number to label passive fishing gear.

Prohibit the use of "can" and "pipe" traps to capture fish. This popular method of capturing catfish on trotlines has the potential to increase the amount of trash in waterways. This regulation also clarifies that limblines may only be used with hooks.

Reclassify the violation for non-residents illegally possessing a resident fishing license.

Eliminate the minimum length limit for largemouth bass at Lake Barnett in White County and allow anglers to keep only one bass longer than 16 inches. Currently there is a 13- to 16-inch slot length limit on Lake Barnett.

Eliminate the minimum length limit for largemouth bass at Lake Brewer in Conway County and allow anglers to keep only one bass longer than 16 inches. Currently there is a 13- 16-inch slot length limit on Lake Brewer.

Install a 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass at Cane Creek Lake in Lincoln County. This will give bass an opportunity to spawn at least once before they can be legally harvested.

Remove the smallmouth bass special regulation areas on Crooked Creek between the Highway 62/412 Bridge, and from the Highway 101 Bridge downstream to the White River.

Specify that the minimum length limit for cutthroat trout on the North Fork of the White River is 24 inches.

Allow harvest of largemouth bass and crappie at Lake Poinsett. The daily limit of largemouth bass will be 10, only one of which may be longer than 16 inches. The daily limit of crappie will be 15.

Establish a paddlefish snagging season on the White River below Beaver Dam from below Houseman Access to the Missouri State line. The minimum length limit for paddlefish will be 34 inches from tail fork to the eye in this area and also the special snagging area directly downstream from Beaver Dam. This regulation will also establish a paddlefish snagging season above Beaver Lake with a season limit of two paddlefish. Anglers will be required to obtain a permit to snag for paddlefish above Beaver Lake.

Create a recreational netting permit. Many commercial fishing permit holders only use commercial tackle to catch large quantities of fish for personal use or for fish fries. Establishing a limited use permit for these recreational fishermen will distinguish them from commercial fishers that derive income from fishing and remove the requirement for recreational fishermen to report their harvest or lack of harvest each month.